The Oldest UK Cycling Club

Pickwick Bicycle Club
Pickwick Bicyclists on a club run in 1870

The first pedal powered bicycles were developed in France during the 1860s as the velocipede.

Within ten years bicycle clubs were being founded throughout the UK. Many existing clubs claim to be amongst the oldest in the UK including us. But who really is the oldest? Here is a list of those who claim to have started before 1881 – the year of Anerley BC’s foundation.

Bath Cycling Club: 1880

Anfield Bicycle Club: 1879

CTC (Cyclists Touring Club): 1878
Except they have dropped ‘Club’ from their title and now morphed themselves into “the UK’s National Cyclists’ Organisation”. So I don’t think they qualify in the sense of being a continuing cycle club in our sense.

Leek Cyclists Club: 1876

Speedwell Bicycle Club: 1876

Cambridge University Cycling Club: 1874

Oxford University Cycling Club: 1873

Peterborough Cycling Club: 1873
PCC claim to be the oldest continuously active cycling club.

Pickwick Bicycle Club – Hackney Downs: 1870
No known website and (according to The Independent) nowadays it is mainly a social club with membership by invitation so probably does not qualify as an active cycle club

Please comment below if you know of any existing pre-1881 club and we will add them to the list.

15 thoughts on “The Oldest UK Cycling Club

  • February 2, 2011 at 11:16 am
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    IN 1879. 78 London Cycling clubs and 26 provincial clubs took part in the Hampton Court ride in Richmond park a total of 1100 bicyclist plus unregistered riders – These must have been on the High Bicycle or bone shaker because this was before the safety bicycle was developed. I have a complete list of clubs .

    Reply
    • July 28, 2016 at 3:47 pm
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      hi Keith,

      I’m currently writing a dissertation on Cycling Clubs in London could you email any information you have please?
      ebrey_sophie@hotmail.com

      Thanks

      Sophie

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    • October 20, 2017 at 10:55 am
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      Do you have a list. Am trying to find. London parks cycling club

      Reply
  • February 2, 2011 at 11:41 am
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    Great. Could you post them here or email them to admin (at) bizz.co.uk. I’ll check those that are still extan and add them to the list.

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  • January 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm
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    Fascinating thread on your site. Thought you might like to know that Royal Albert CC in Larkhall, near Glasgow recently had a clear-out of our clubroom and found a medal engraved with the words: Royal Albert C.C. Presented to Mr John Love 1872.”
    As we sort though more material, we’re hopeful of turning up some even earlier memorabilia.
    With best wishes
    Alex

    Reply
    • January 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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      Alex, very interested with regards to the John Love medal. I am researching the life of someone of that name who was born in Liverpool of Scottish parents. If it’s the same one he cycled up Argyle Street South in Birkenhead on a Penny-farthing. It is a very steep hill !
      regards
      Dave

      Reply
  • April 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm
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    Great thread! the Hastings & St Leonard’s Cycling Club claims to have run continuously, without a break for world wars etc. since 1876. here’s our current blog; http://www.hastingscc.blogspot.co.uk/

    I’d love to see more photos of 1870s club runs, thanks.

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  • March 29, 2013 at 11:44 am
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    Hi all,
    July 7th 1883 was the formation date of the Manchester Wheelers’ Club and we have some events planned to mark our 130th birthday this year.
    As president of a club which seems to be only a junior member of the UK’s oldest clubs I congratulate evryone mentioned on the list and in this forum.
    Could someone kindly keep us up to date with any happenings regarding the oldest clubs please?

    Reply
  • February 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm
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    Hi there, this is fascinating stuff. I do think that you have missed Hastings and St Leonards Cycling Club from your list. We started in 1876 and have been in continuous action ever since.

    Reply
  • May 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm
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    Dutch cycle club ‘Immer Weiter’ of Deventer, Netherlands, is from 22nd of October 1871. Just a fun fact! Still active as of today. See http://www.immerweiter.nl.

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  • June 22, 2017 at 8:07 pm
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    Dutch Olympic Road Race Champion Anna van der Breggen is our youngest member. The (former) top cyclists, from young to old, are all living in our beautiful province of Overijssel.

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  • October 18, 2017 at 12:55 pm
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    I came across ththis very interesting site whilst researching a Volume 2 gazette I have for the
    “London Bicycle Club” 1879 .It is a bound original copy if I can help with any intormation please let me know

    Reply
  • October 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm
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    Anyone know of existing cycling club in North East around 1935-1940 ?
    Stockton? or Middlesbrough?
    Thanks

    Reply

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